E-services, a business concept developed by Hewlett Packard (HP), is the idea that the World Wide Web is moving beyond e-business and e-commerce (that is, completing sales on the Web) into a new phase where many business services can be provided for a business or consumer using the Web. Some e-services, such as remote bulk printing, may be done at a Web site; other e-services, such as news updates to subscribers, may be sent to your computer. Other e-services will be done in the background without the customer's immediate knowledge. HP defines e-services as "modular, nimble, electronic services that perform work, achieve tasks, or complete transactions."
Using HP's e-services concept, any application program or information resource is a potential e-service and Internet service providers (ISPs) and other companies are logical distributors or access points for such services. The e-services concept also sees services being built into "cars, networked devices, and virtually anything that has a microchip in it." HP's vision is that IT departments will increasingly address their needs in a modular way so that individual modules can potentially be addressed by some e-service.
HP notes three trends:
- The increasing availability of "apps-on-tap" - for accounting, payment systems, purchasing, and enterprise resource planning (ERP). (HP offers several of these services.)
- An increase in the number of specialized Web portal sites such as OpenSkies (travel services) and Ariba.com's e-procurement services.
- More on-the-fly handling of service requests that may require handling by several companies.